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My dog

Discussion in 'Joint Ownership' started by traviskristen, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. traviskristen

    traviskristen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I live in California and am currently going through a divorce.

    My attorney won't help me regarding my dogs. The first dog was adopted by my husband prior to marriage. However, she is microchipped and registered to me. I have paid for all vet expenses and all items, he never took her to the vet prior to me. He has since given her away to his girlfriend. My attorney won't help me regarding getting her back, nor are the police able to help.

    My other dog, was given to me as a gift from my husband prior to marriage. He now claims that she was for his son (which is not true). He purchased her because I love big dogs. My step son was with us less than 50% of the time and I was his main caregiver. My attorney does not want to fight for her because she was given to me before marriage. Again, I paid for all vet bills, dog items, she is registered and microchipped to me.

    My husband came and stole my dogs from my home. He even put his son through this horrific scene. i called the cops when this happened but they couldn't help.

    Can anyone help me get my dogs back??!! My husband can barely take care of himself and the few times he was suppose to simply feed my dogs he would forget and the food that i put out for them was still on the counter after work.

    Any help is appreciated. I miss my babies!
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    As you've seen, not much can be done.
    It might be best to simply love your son, no matter his age, he'll always be your real baby.
  3. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    You can't get custody of animals like you would children. They are simply property as far as the law is concerned and their "value" in a divorce is quite limited. The first dog is his, no matter who drove it to the vet. Any funds used to pay for the dog's care were joint funds so it doesn't matter who physically wrote the check.

    The second dog is more of a he said, she said, but if he was the one who purchased the dog, his claims of who he gifted the dog to are likely to carry more weight. Unless this was a purebred worth thousands, it really isn't worth the attorney's time to and your money to haggle over ownership for an uncertain result and very little substantial change to the overall marital division of assets.

    Your best bet is to have enjoyed the pets for the time you had them and when you are ready, find a new animal to love.
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    The first thing you need to understand is that pets are property -- no different than a car or a toaster. That being said, the dog apparently started out as your husband's separate property.

    Registered? Is this a pure breed dog? Also, when did this microchipping and registration occur? Before or after the marriage?

    And you presumably used community property funds for these things. Right?

    The police obviously won't get involved in a family law dispute. Your attorney will help you if you pay him to do so, unless he believes it would be frivolous to do so. Potentially, you have an argument that the separate property animal was transmuted to community property as a result of the microchipping and registration, but that will be an expensive argument to make and is probably a 50/50 proposition at best.

    That makes it your separate property.

    Is there evidence of this other than your and his personal testimony?

    I'm not sure what sort of "help" you thinks folks on a message board can provide other than to answer questions. How much money are you willing to throw at this issue? Is there other property that he wants that you would be willing to let him have in exchange for you getting one or both of the dogs? If push comes to shove and you force the court to decide the issue, it will probably give you one of the dogs and your husband the other. Alternatively, it could order both to be sold and the proceeds divided.

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